14 April, 2021

"Well, I Would Certainly Not Defend Operation Parakram"

The foreign minister in the Vajpayee government is open about the past and expresses his views on the present

Narendra Bisht
"Well, I Would Certainly Not Defend Operation Parakram"
Jaswant Singh was India’s foreign minister in the government of Atal Behari Vajpayee, which saw the most dramatic era in India-Pakistan relations. Now leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, he was open about the past and gave his views on the present in a conversation with Outlook. Excerpts:

How do you judge the UPA’s handling of Pakistan post-9/11?

India-Pakistan relations are given to frequent fractures. They are possibly the most complex relations between any two countries on earth. They are hostage to high emotions and history as no other. In India-Pakistan relations, the past is also the present.

Do you think the UPA government has handled the aftermath of Mumbai 26/11 competently enough?

Don’t ask me to make judgements. The other aspect of 26/11 was that for 70 hours the country was brought to a standstill and all decision-making came to a stop. The problem arises when the political leadership abandons responsibility and leans on a foreign power to do its job.

There was massive troop mobilisation during...

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